Fire watcher on duty during USS Carl Vinson overhaul (click to view larger)
British sailors on wooden warships used to sing a sea-shanty called the “Fire Down Below.” The song – sung while sailors were raising the anchor, pumping out the bilge, or hauling ropes – was about fighting a fire onboard a ship.
Ever since the era of wooden sailing ships, fires onboard ships have been a major concern for the world’s navies. In the era of steel ships, the fire danger might not be as ever-present. But it remains, especially when repair and overhaul work is being done.
That type of work requires the use of welders. And where welders work, there is a risk of fires starting. To monitor the welders’ work during ship overhauls, the US Navy uses fire watchers…
MQ-9 MTS-B turret and electronics unit (click to view larger)
UAVs have been a critical resource for US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. They perform many functions, including intelligence gathering, surveillance of enemy positions, and even attack capabilities.
GlobalSecurity.org lists over 60 different models of UAVs. One of the most useful UAVs with attack capabilities has been the MQ-9 Reaper. It has the same surveillance capabilities of the popular MQ-1 Predator, but it also can carry GPS-guided JDAM family bombs, Paveway laser-guided bombs, Sidewinder missiles for air-air self defense, Hellfire anti-armor missiles, and laser-guided Hydra rockets.
To find targets, track them, estimate their range, and ensure the targets are taken out, the MQ-9 needs a sensor-based targeting system. That system is the MTS-B [PDF] Multi-Spectral Targeting System manufactured by Raytheon, which recently received a $27.5 million order from the USAF to supply 17 MTS-B systems.
API Technologies, a Ronkonkoma, NY-based defense supplier of electronic and commmunications components, is doubling in size with its recent $24 million acquisition of the Kuchera Group of Companies (KGC), including Kuchera Defense Systems. The combined company will have revenues of $120 million.
Kuchera supplies printed circuit boards, robotic systems, unmanned aircraft, electro-mechanical assemblies and final systems integration to the defense, aerospace and communications industries…